Friday, November 11, 2011

Line In The Sand or Concrete?

As a school leader, you will experience a situation in which someone refuses to buy in and contribute to a project.  This decision to "draw the line" may not matter and your project continues anyway.  On the other hand, the person refusing to move may actually halt progress.

In these situations, it is best to determine whether the line was "drawn in sand or concrete."

Lines in the sand are easily erased.  They can be covered up and usually disappear by morning.  People who draw the line in sand also tend to underestimate how far the "tide" of colleagues' opinions will reach.  Because of this, their line gets erased without their needing to be the one who did it.

Lines drawn in concrete are another matter.

If still "wet" the line can be removed or smoothed over, but not as easily as in sand.  Quick action is needed here because once the concrete dries, the line is staying.  There is only one way to remove a line that has set in concrete.  You need to break up it up and start over with new concrete.

Lines drawn in concrete cost more.

Effective leaders quickly determine in which substance lines are drawn and work to move (or remove) them as the case may be.
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